This assignment assesses your secondary research skills and your ability to follow the rules of academic writing. The topic is the 4Ps (product, price, place and promotion), which is also called the “marketing mix”. You need to compare and contrast how effective the application of the 4Ps is for one pair of brands (NOT ALL OF THEM) from the list below:
Analyse the effectiveness of the marketing mix for any given company or brand.
Demonstrate knowledge of STP marketing planning process
You need to carry out in-depth research into the brand’s target market (who they are, their likes/dislikes, their levels of personal disposable income etc.) using market research databases – e.g. Mintel reports and TGI. You then need to look at the brands themselves, their brand values and competitive positioning in the market before going on to discuss their application of the 4Ps – product, price, place and promotion. The key to getting a good mark on this is to prepare a comparative analysis. Do not describe the brands in isolation – always look at the two together and explain why they do things differently.
This assignment should be based on secondary and observational research only. You are not required to carry out any form of primary research. You need to research the following:
You need to develop a detailed target market profile for each brand using data sources such as Mintel, the companies’ own websites and other secondary sources. You need to think about age, gender, personal disposable income, social class, level of education, family life cycle, lifestyles, other brands they like, TV programmes they watch, hobbies etc.
Using Levitt’s model of a brand, try to analyse your two selected brands (their shape, packaging, colour scheme etc.). How different are they at the functional and emotional level? What are the brand values that the companies are trying to portray? In addition, have a look at Aaker’s brand personality framework to see which personality type(s) each brand follows.
You need to carry out some on-line and in-store research to establish a market price for each of the brands and any competing products. Display all this competitive pricing research in a table and draw conclusions about which pricing strategy they are adopting.
You need to look at channel management. Which stores stock this product? Is it a mass market product where the company has maximised distribution outlets, or is it a luxury brand where distribution is deliberately limited? Explain your answer. If possible, take photos of the product in-store/on-line. What does this tell you about brand values?
You need to research their past methods of communication (e.g. cinema, TV, outdoor, print, social media, mobile, own website etc.). Which communication methods do they use to build their respective brands? – and how do they do this? How are they positioning themselves in the minds of target audiences? (E.g. affordable, luxury, healthy, socially conscious etc.)
It is suggested that you follow this structure for your reports.
THIS IS WRITTEN LAST (because it is a summary of your research) BUT IT APPEARS FIRST (before the contents page), in order to catch the attention of the reader and encourage them to read further. It should cover in one page or less:
·The aim of the report,
·The methods of research,
·The results (top-line summary only)
Contents Page (Use the feature in Word to do this automatically)
This should be quite brief – it’s NOT a detailed coverage of a 100 years of corporate history. It should include the aim of the report and some background information on each of the chosen brands – I.E a brief description of the brands with useful data such as market share, market size and trends in sales, which you can find from the most recent Mintel reports as well as in the trade press.
Use sub-headings to make your report easier to follow. We suggest you adopt the following headings:
1.Comparison of Target Markets
2.Product - Evaluation of the Products and their Brand Values
3.Price - Evaluation of the Pricing Strategies Used
4.Place - Distribution of the Brands
5.Promotion – Communication of the Brands
You should try to put relevant raw data in the appendices with only a summary of the data in the body of the report. Every time you state a fact e.g. market size, price data, sales etc. you must provide a referenced source for that fact (both in the text and in the reference list based on the Harvard referencing rules). All graphs, data, diagrams and tables should have the title on the top e.g. Figure 1: XYZ Product Category Market Share; or if it’s a table, Table 1: XYZ Product Category Market Share with a source written directly underneath and to the right of that table e.g. Source: Mintel (2014).
This is where you provide some element of evaluation of your research findings.
·How has each brand applied the 4P’s?
·Why have they applied the 4P’s in this way?
·Which brand has been most successful in its application of the 4P’s?
·How could each of the brands improve their use of the 4P’s?
Use the appendices to display any raw research data such as pricing data which the reader could not access anywhere else.
·You may not write in first person – using I, me or my.
·Your report should be written in a formal business-like manner.
·You may include tables and photographs in the body of the report, but they must all include a title (above and to the left) and the source (below and to the right)
This brief assignment checklist is designed to help you avoid some of the most common mistakes students make in their coursework.
HAVE YOU READ THE ASSIGNMENT BRIEF?
In it you will find details of the assessment task, word count, the assessment criteria your work is marked against, and the learning outcomes – the basis for the assessment strategy in each module.
Students often lose marks by forgetting some of the more straightforward elements of their assignments. We recommend that you “tick off” each of the points below as you prepare your work for submission. If you need any help, ask your tutor and / or visit https://bucks.ac.uk/students/academicadvice/assessment-and-examination
Have you read and understood the assessment criteria?
Have you met the learning outcomes? You will lose marks and your work may even be failed if you have not.
Have you demonstrated you can think and write critically in the completed work?
Have you maintained an academic tone throughout your work? Is your work formal, focused, developed and clear?
Have you checked that the referencing in your assignment is in line with your programme requirements?
Have you proof-read your work and used spellcheck software to check your spelling and grammar?
Have you checked the presentation of your work is as specified by your tutor, for example, are font size, colour, style, line spacing and margins as the tutor specified?
Have you kept to the word count (or equivalent)? If you are not sure, check with your tutor.
Can you confirm that the work submitted is your own and not plagiarised?